Freq Week 2013: Spring Break, Normal Natural and Much Gratitude

Another year and another gathering of the freq tribe up at Baldface Lodge—this year was filled with sunny first descents, and gratitude.

Upon arrival at the heli pad beside Kootenay Lake, we found the usual hugs from veteran freqs. Mervin MFG’s Jami and Ryan Davis, Bataleon’s Dennis Dusseldorp, Maxx von Marbod, Marcel Dolak, Martin Watterson and Patrik McQueen were there along with introductions to new friends like subscriber and big winner Zach Dippo, Lib Tech rider Andy Bergin Sperry, Sayulita’s Ian Hodge, and the infamous Chuck White. It built up the excitement for another epic adventure up at Baldface Lodge. Stepping out of the heli, frequency’s John Laing, Jessie Carlson, Sebastian Garber, and I felt like we were arriving home. A home where there’s 32,000 acres of shreddable terrain, delicious food, and the ever-present memory of Craig Kelly.

The entire three days were filled with sun and spring temps. Lucky for us, the warming was gradual enough to keep stability high and open up some new terrain. Day one took us back to the north 40 where we found speedy hot pow laps through “the burn” and a trip to Baldface Peak for a beautiful open bowl to adventure-traverse. This was the first time the freqs were able to get to Baldface peak. It opened last year, but the conditions weren’t stable enough to access.

Day two kept us closer to the lodge, and brought us to the top of the Ultra Natural course on the same day it was showing on televisions worldwide. We’ve ridden Scary Cherry in the past, prior to the course being built, and it’s scarier now. Standing at the top of the 35-50 degree pitch and looking down at all of the features, it’s hard to imagine boosting off them at full speed. Cat one’s slide show from the first day included Dennis Dusseldorp, Marcel Dolak and Sandbox’s Kevin Sansalone proving that it was doable, so Ryan Davis and Andy Bergin Sperry stepped up, starting with stylie slashes off the first ladder feature. Our own John Laing and Sebastian Garber got some nice air-time as well.

After the usual dance party and last-night good times, day three brought another trip to the back 40 for the freqs in cat two. The prior day, our lead guide John Buffery and tail guide Ryan Coulter had scoped out a possible first descent off a ridge-line on the back side of Baldface Peak. Standing at the top of the ridge, Patrick McQueen took a moment to remember the beautiful and spunky (frosting on top) Geneva McQueen who attended Freq week two years prior and passed away last year after a tragic snowboard accident. After Buff set a broad option for play time off of cornices, wind lips, or straight down the bowl, Patrick dropped in and spread Geneva’s ashes through the majestic Kootenay Mountains. It was definitely one of the most touching and honest moments we’ve shared over our eight years at Freq Week. The day ended at Craig’s cross where we honored those bright souls who touched us and passed sooner than wished. We gave thanks for the present moment in the sun with good friends, and thanks to Jeff Pensiero and Baldface lodge for building a never-never land where all who visit feel like they have truly come home.

Thanks Baldface. Thanks Mervin Mfg. Thanks Bataleon. Thanks Jamie Warner for sharing your photo talents. Thanks returning and new freqs. It’s an honor to have played with all of you. Freq Week IX can’t come soon enough.

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